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Python Tool for Visual Studio Code Gets Leaner, Faster

The popular Python extension for Visual Studio Code is out in a November update that sees it getting smaller, downloading faster, installing quicker and starting up sooner.

The Python extension is by far the most popular offering on the Visual Studio Code Marketplace, used by nearly 25 million developers (almost 10 million more than No. 2).

It gives the open source, cross-platform code editor various kinds of support for the Python programming language, providing linting, debugging, IntelliSense, code navigation, code formatting, refactoring, unit tests, snippets and so on.

Led by Microsoft developers, the tool gets updated regularly, with last week's release of the November edition being termed a "quality focused release," closing out a lot of issues. In the new-feature department, improved startup performance heads the bill.

"We have started using webpack to bundle the TypeScript files in the extension for faster load times," said Microsoft's Dan Taylor said in a blog post last week (Nov. 29). "This has significantly improved the extension download size, installation time and extension load time."

With more such improvements planned for future releases, Taylor also highlighted the following minor enhancements to the November edition, from the changelog:

  • Update Jedi to 0.13.1 and parso 0.3.1. (#2667)
  • Make diagnostic message actionable when opening a workspace with no currently selected Python interpreter. (#2983)
  • Fix problems with virtual environments not matching the loaded python when running cells. (#3294)
  • Make nbconvert in an installation not prevent notebooks from starting. (#3343)

In total, Taylor said, 28 issues were closed, with the bugs mostly affecting interpreter detection and Jupyter support.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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